Phantasmal is expected to release in March next year.
You can get involved now through Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight.
I’ve been saying for a while now that 2014 seems to be the year for horror titles. With the aftermath of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, The Forest, Daylight, and the upcoming Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within. Now we’ve got the beginnings of another promising contender, Phantasmal.
Eyemobi are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to finish the game. They were looking for $15,000NZD (a little over $12,000 in the US) and are almost halfway there.
What’s pretty cool is that Eyemobi are offering different rewards in addition to getting a copy of Phantasmal for people who help fund. They’re even giving people personalised monsters within the game to anyone who donates enough. Check out the Kickstarter site for a complete list.
Phantasmal goes against the grain of recent horror titles by including combat. Even more interesting is the combat not being the necessary reaction. Other games that have included combat have made that the only choice in dealing with monsters.
Personally, I think this is a good move. Eyemobi have balanced the options well enough to appeal to both sides of the combat debate, rather than leaving it being too much of both, not enough of either.
Another element that Phantasmal has taken is, procedural generation. So each playthrough is different and dying is not forced-repetition. When Daylight did it, I was ambivalent. It was a nice touch but really didn’t achieve that much.
I think, however, that Phantasmal will make a better case for procedural generation in the genre. It keeps the game fresh. Procedural generation will stretch a simple objective (get to the exit) and make it work. I really like what Eyemobi have done here.
Other elements of note are the use of a sanity meter a la Amnesia: The Dark Descent. From what I can gather the player’s sanity will be depleted by combating the monsters.
Atmosphere is something Eyemobi are really looking at. In their responses to comments on the recent Rock, Paper, Shotgun article, you can see the emphasis on cultivating a sense of dread without much reliance on jump scares.
If the trailer above teased you and left you wanting more, have a look at the video below. Famed YouTuber, Pewdiepie, received an alpha copy and recorded his playthrough.
Personally, I can’t stand it and his inane chatter makes it hard to really understand the work that has gone into Phantasmal‘s atmosphere but that’s neither here nor there. Worth a look to see how the game plays.
Anyone in Melbourne for PAX Aus can swing by and meet the makers in the Indie Games area.